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Bittersweet

Carmen McRaeAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2005 $9.49  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Koch Records
  • ASIN: B000063IVU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,873 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. When Sunny Gets Blue
2. How Did He Look
3. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
4. The Meaning Of The Blues
5. If You Could Love Me
6. Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
7. Second Chance
8. If You Could See Me Now
9. Here's That Rainy Day
10. I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life
11. Ghost Of Yesterday
12. I'm Lost
13. Come Sunday

Editorial Reviews

Many of Carmen's fans consider this 1964 album, recorded for the Focus label, to be her best-yet this is its first appearance on CD! If you've fallen under Carmen's spell before, you must pick this one up-her singing is remarkably deep and rich as she sings When Sunny Gets Blue; Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry; Sunday; Here's That Rainy Day , and nine more!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(12)
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CARMEN MCRAE AT HER BEST April 26, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Great to see this album on CD. Carmen Mcrae really shows the world "what she's got" here. For years, due to bad management and Decca's fault, Carmen floundered about, making small jazz clubs and small hit records. It's no wonder she flew from label to label for many years. Had she been left to wallow at Decca, she might have never gotten past the commercial tunes, such as the case with Ella Fitzgerald, who also lacked that backing at Decca...we may have never known any more of her than LADY BE GOOD if the powers that be had their way. Happily, that wasnt the case for Ella or Carmen, but I digress... Carmen Mcrae fans will relish this very moody collection of superior ballads. Recorded in 1964, this set finds Carmen backed by (mostly) her trio. It was her first pairing with pianist Norman Simmons, and this recording session (all the songs were cut at one date!) resulted in a 10 plus year union between him and Mcrae. Right from the start, her ethereal a cappella intro to WHEN SUNNY GETS BLUE will give you goose bumps. She eases the arrangement along before finishing with a satiny tag. Carmen's rendition of Tommy Wolf's SPRING CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST is downright uncanny, and really captures the emotion behind the changing of the seasons for the seasoned storyteller that Carmen has become during this number. Classic jazz performance of this hard to sing song. The husband and wife team of Andre Previn and Dory Langdon provide Carmen (and now, us) with the superb ballad SECOND CHANCE. (Had only heard Sammy Davis sing this one on an old LP before) Carmen really puts this one away. Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last!! January 22, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I'll try to keep this simple. she's one of the best ballad singers ever. mundell lowe is one of the best sidemen ever. If you don't think this is the best of carmens ballads, i'll... nevermind. an old beatnik pal remembered these tunes being "juke box" cuts {2.5 3.5 minutes} and i bought the vinyl. spring can really hang you up the most"will rip outyour heart."how did he look"is great carmen and guitar as it should be. I waited years for this C D and would have paid almost anything for it,and then voolah|| there it was. buy it you wont be happy, you'll jump up and down!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet: Carmen McRae June 6, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I have been a fan of Carmen McRae since I was fifteen, and heard
her album entitled "Torchy." Her voice is distinctive and lyrical, her enunciation, perfect, and her choice of material always stellar. Bittersweet is no exception.
For me, "Torchy" (out of print in USA) has always been the ultimate Carmen---until "Bittersweet."
Give yourself a special treat. Buy it.
HCS: Ventnor, NJ
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitting Your Stride at 40! July 8, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Excellent comment so far, but I have another point to make. It seems to me singers like Carmen and Betty Carter didn't really hit their stride until they hit their 40s. Until about the time of this recording Carmen was caught up in "singing" as in she sounded pretty at the expense of interpreting the song, living the song, feeling the song. Bittersweet hits a perfect balance of artistry and heart. Many years later Carmen talked about Billie Holidays' Lady in Satin in the film "The Many Faces of Lady". She spoke of how ravaged Billie's voice was, but that it was more moving, more honest than much of her early stuff when the voice was supple, smoothe and youthful. Without going down that same suffering road, Carmen began to draw from the depths of emotion and honesty without sounding like she was crawling to the bitter end. She left an impressive legacy. Carmen is high up on the hill when it comes to the artistry of song. Carmen McRae...shines!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutley stunnig performance of ballads. September 16, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I recorded this LP from a friend years & erased/lost the tape.I knew it was excellent but was a lot younger then & did not realize how exquisite.Gag me with a spoon on "If You Could Love Me";the story of my life; don't remember that one,this my favorite ballad of hers & have been collecting Carmen's for 30 yrs.It is refreshing to hear Carmen do 4 or so Sarah Vaughan classics,a different but superb approach.All of the other songs are impeccable.The liner notes are interesting how Carmen called Mundell Lowe at the last minute because a previous hired guitarist couldn't read Norman Simmons' arrangements.Funny Sarah did a fantistic accompany by Mundell & just a bass vile on a Roulette recording entitled"After Hours".Carmen sings all these pithy standards with a piano player,guitarist & a bass vile player.Sarah also does another Roulette"Sarah+2"with just a guitarist,Barney Kessel& bass vile Joe Comfort backing her where Sarah also sings that lovely song "When Sunny Gets Blue"This Bittersweet& the 2 Sarah albums are not rythmical with big orchestras but are filled with pithy standards enunciated & sung to perfection for the jazz connoiseur;nothing light to click to click your heels up to."Bittersweet" surpasses "Book of Ballads" on Decca which is also excellent.When you think of all ballads by an artist, you say OH NO! But not with Carmen or Sarah.I fully agree with the other review.Beg,borrow,buy or steal this one it is a must.It says in the notes distributed by Atlantic if so why can't they manage to reprint Carmen's 1st album on Atlantic "For Once In My Life" an absolute masterpiece.They say there is one reprinted in Japan.They say there are free computers, pictures of Big Foot,and a CD of Carmen McRae doing "For Once In My Life" but I have never touched,seen or had one in my hand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Carmen Mcrae, Bittersweet
This CD hasn't shipped yet, but they played the whole CD on the radio, and I was blown away!
Carmen's voice is so strong, yet so intimate! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Martha Sammaciccia
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Five Star Performance
This album was an exceptional performance by Carmen McRae. The mood and phrasing is consistently
appealing from the time she begins "When Sunny Gets Blue". Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection: what distinguishes a "singer" from a mere "vocalist"
Carmen McRae, like every other singer, underwent changes to her instrument that, while not affecting her art, required adjustments on the part of the listener. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Samuel Chell
5.0 out of 5 stars She sings to my heart!!
The comments above say it all! My music collection since the sixties always had several CARMEN albums. Her respect for music and her audience was the highest. Read more
Published 19 months ago by cotis
5.0 out of 5 stars singers' singer
This is jazz singing-or any kind of singing- at its best. Carmen's phrasing and clarity are a model for anyone who wants to know what sophisticated mature singing is all about.
Published on May 21, 2011 by queenaldo
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet or perfection?
you'll never find Carmen McRae sounding better. "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" blows me away.This is a claasic performance of one of America's great female vocalists.
Published on November 12, 2009 by JONNY-1 NYC
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitting Your Stride at 40!
Excellent comment so far, but I have another point to make. It seems to me singers like Carmen and Betty Carter didn't really hit their stride until they hit their 40s. Read more
Published on July 8, 2004 by Louis Alemayehu
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